California officials advance Elon Musk’s lower-cost transit tunnel plan

June 10, 2020 / Comments (0)

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Dive Brief:

  • The San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) has agreed to postpone an analysis of rail system alternatives, one of which would serve the Ontario International Airport in Ontario, California, in order to evaluate an unsolicited proposal from Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk’s The Boring Co. (TBC), which has suggested a transit tunnel to the airport instead. This defers the issuance of a $3 million alternative analysis Request for Proposals by a “few months,” according to a staff-prepared board document
  • SBCTA staff estimate that a traditional rail project to the airport would cost $1 billion to $1.5 billion, while the transit tunnel option tunnel would cost a fraction of that amount, approximately 3% to 5%. In addition, a rail system would take approximately 10 years to develop and build and would cost $7 million to $9 million to operate and maintain each year. The tunnel option could be constructed in as little as five years and cost 40% of what it would take to operate and maintain a surface rail system. 

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